Tag Archives: Bokashi

How to Make Bokashi


Bokashi is a ramped up, high speed composting method that was first developed on Japan. Conventional composting relies on oxygen-fed organisms to break down organic material.  Bokashi is a method that uses a mix of microorganisms to cover food waste to decrease smell. It derives from the practice of Japanese farmers centuries ago of covering food waste with rich, local soil that contained the microorganisms that would ferment the waste. After a few weeks, they would bury the waste and it would become a rich soil. It’s basic fermentation, the same process that gives us wine and pickles.

Advantages of Bokashi

Most composting methods require months of waiting for the food scraps to break down into compost. However, bokashi composting works very fast, taking only a few days rather than months. Many people complain of their home composting methods having a strong order. Bokashi, on the other hand, is virtually odorless. It  has the potential to be speedier, more space-efficient way to recycle large volumes of kitchen waste into valuable compost.

How to Make Bokashi

You will need containers or buckets with tight fitting lids to keep air out, kitchen scraps, and bokashi mix.

1. Begin by put a layer of bokashi at the bottom of the bucket

2. Add food scarps on top of the layer

3. Each time a layer of scraps is added, add 1-2 tablespoons of the microorganisms

4. Make sure to close the lid securely

5. Once the bucket is full allow it to sit for 10 days for fermentation

6. You will be left with juices and fermented food scraps

7. The juices make a great compost tea for crops, and the fermented scraps can be buried in the ground to enrich the soil.

Bokashi How to Video

Bokashi composting!

Bokashi is for composters who are either freaked out by worms or just want to try out a new way to compost (it’s actually a quite ancient form of composting from Japan, FYI). Bokashi (ぼかし) means “shading off” or “gradation.” Here is a lovely Wikipedia page all about bokashi composting, so you can gather way more information than you ever thought you wanted…

Bokashi is pretty awesome because you can throw in pretty much any foods to compost. Unlike worm bin composting (see previous blog post), you can add meat, dairy, cooked and greasy foods, etc and Bokashi will work its magical wonders and do its “compost thang.” How bokashi works is through fermentation, which is an added plus because it won’t attract cockroaches or vermin… so if you’re doing your composting outside or in a city with anti-composting laws (due to the cockroach/rat problem), then this is the method for you! 

 Step 1: Buy a bucket (5 gallons works perfectly and fits under your sink!) with an air-tight lid because the bokashi is an anaerobic process…

Step 2: Put a bottom layer of Bokashi bran (buy it at your local hardware store or on Amazon) into the bucket, which is a cool mix of grains and microbes that cause the fermentation.

Step 3: Add any food bits you want to the bin, sprinkling a handful or so of the moist bran to the top every time you add food.

Step 4: Feel good about yourself because you’ve decreased your food waste!